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the flock, so that Mary saw at a glance she had a companion in her solitude, and her heart was gladdened, as if she heard the voice and saw the face of a friend.
The lamb was happy also. It played at her side, and took the little tufts of grass from her hand, as readily as if she had been its friend from infancy. And then the lamb leaped away, and Mary's heart went out after it, and she followed her heart. Now the little thing would sport by her side, and then rush forward as if about to forsake her altogether; and so she followed it, without any anxiety as to whither it would lead her. She was lost-she had no friend to help her in her distress—the lamb had found her in loneliness, and she loved it and loved to follow it, and would go wherever it should go. So she went on; and the sun-a summer sun-was setting, and her shadow stretched away before her as if she were tall as a tree. She was thinking of home, and wondering if she should ever reach it, when the lamb of a sudden sprang away over a gentle knoll, and as she reached it, her sportive playmate had found the flock from which it had strayed, and they were both within sight of home. The lamb had led Mary home.
You see the bearing of this on your own case. You have wandered from your Father's house in pursuit of the follies and sinful pleasures of life; and oh that, like this child, you may feel your lost and wretched condition! Night—the dark and doleful night of death, is coming on, and dangers are thickening around you-dangers from which there is only one who can deliver you. You know that you have a Father in heaven a forgotten, neglected, and despised Father, but a Father still; one who is moved with compassion towards you and waits to be gracious unto you. And oh, if you will but lift your supplications to Him, then, like this lost child, with the eye of faith, just now blinded with tears of grief because you have wandered, you will catch a sight of the lamb---even of the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, and which can take away your sin. And, like her's, your heart will go after the Lamb, and you will “ follow Him withersoever He goeth,” till at last He will lead you through tite dark valley, and from thence to your Father's house, where an “fountains of living waters," and where God shall wipe awa> tears from your eyes!
Inquiries and Correspondence.
DEAR SIR,–Will you, explain to your young readers, and for my - satisfaction, the following seeming contradictions, which have occurred to me in the course of my reading :
1. Reconcile Exodus xx. 5, with Ezekiel xviii. 20. B 2. Proverbs xxvii. 2, “Let another praise thee, and not thine own
mouth, a stranger, and not thine own lips," with 1 Cor. xv. 10, “I
labored more abundantly than they all;" and 2 Cor. xii. 11, “In E nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles.”
3. Reconcile Matt. vii. 7, 8, with Luke xiii. 24.
4. In 1 Cor. x. 33, St. Paul says, “ I please all men in all things;" and yet in Gal. i. 10, he says, "If I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ.”
W. H. WELSH.
1. The first of these expressions, frequently repeated in the Old Testament, appears to refer mainly, if not entirely, to temporal visitations, the other, to eternal punishments. As a fact, God does not condemn the pious children of ungodly parents to everlasting death, though frequently under the Jewish law he punished the fathers in their children, as being nearest and dearest to them of all their possessions. And so thoroughly is man an imitative creature, that the influence of a parent's example almost invariably affects the faith and practice of the child. It is a melancholy truth that sin is in this way transmitted even to the third and fourth generation; and its consequences are thus felt by our children's children.
2. We are no where taught that Paul always spoke well or wisely. On the contrary, he has himself told us, that on more than one occasion, “he spake as a fool.” He prefaces, indeed, the last passage here cited, with these words, “I am become a fool in glorying," and introduces this chapter and the one before it, with an apology to the same purport. By connecting and collating these and similar texts in his epistles, we elicit a most forcible commentary on the very commandment referred to, instead of establishing a doctrine at all at variance with it.
3. Great injury has been done to the last of these texts byl its severance from verse 25. The meaning is, that God's mercy FATE has its limits, for when once the Master of the house has shut the door, no one can, of course, pass through it.
4. In the first text, Paul is cautioning the Corinthians to “give none offence," but to recommend the rellgion they with professed by a courteous and amiable deportment. In the fie latter, he is speaking of sinful and time-serving concessions. In these, before his conversion, which he is about to relate, he was as great an adept as any, but now he had resolved to confer no longer with flesh and blood, but to become entirely and for ever, the servant of Christ.
God is referring in the former text to certain special revelations of himself which he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-DOL to any other passages in their history; and it will be found, on turning to Genesis xvii, 1 and xxxv. 11, that he there made Him. self known not as Jehovah, the Self-Existent, but only as “God Almighty.” We think this explanation sufficient to meet all the requirements of the case, though many others have bee proposed, some thinking that Moses uses the term " Jehovah by anticipation, giving, in fact, his own version of the original words ; and others contending that we are to understand the phrase, “ I was not known" in the peculiar sense of appropride tion, or special overture.
Public Singing. Dear Sir,- Is there any sin in public singing, supposing a perso to have a decided talent that way, and not having a taste for anything
else? Is there any harm in following the profession that would be most congenial to his or her taste; and is it not right to study the talent of every individual ? Your opinion upon this subject would greatly oblige.
We think it right, to a certain extent, " to study the talent of every individual,” though we should be cautious in developing it-much more in giving it a bias in favor of any questionable profession.
But “ taste" is a very different thing from talent, and much more likely to lead astray. There are few young persons who have not a taste for display, and before the character is formed they care little whether they figure in the pulpit or on the boards of a theatre.
With regard to public singing, there are circumstances which may justify its being followed as a profession, but we should say, it was by no means a desirable vocation in any case, and ought certainly to be eschewed whenever it cannot fail to connect us with immoral or frivolous characters, or even direct us to the usual haunts of worldliness or dissipation.
Irony. Sir,—You will greatly oblige me by answering, through the medium of your valuable magazine, the following inquiries :
"Are professing Christians justified in using 'Irony,' and is it in any way connected with a 'lie ?'". By answering the above you will oblige, Yours respectfully,
A LOVER OF TRUTH. We believe that Irony is equally lawful with the many other forms of satire used for the sake of correction or exposure, not only by our best moralists, but in Holy Writ itself. Of Irony we have many instances in the Bible, but it may suffice to refer only to two examples: The first occurs in 1 Kings xviii. 27. Elijah, in mocking the priests of Baal, tells them “He is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked,” meaning nothing more than to expose his impotence in the most striking manner. Another instance occurs in Eccl. xi. 9.
Extreme Unction. Sir,- In the epistle of James v. 14., the elders of the church, after praying over the sick person, are directed to “anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” Is there any reason why this latter direction should not be literally understood and obeyed, as well as the others given in the same verse ?
The parallel texts in Mark vi. 13, and xvi. 18, prove that this anointing with oil was connected with the miraculous power of healing conferred on the apostles. Its efficacy, consequently, ceased with their ministry, and its use should have died out also. But Romanism, unwilling to part altogether with such a powerful instrument of spiritual bondage, gave a new turn to this prerogative, and under the name of Extreme Unction, employed it, not as the type of returning health, but as a necessary preparation for death and a passport to heaven-a purpose diametrically opposed to that for which it had been originally used.
Romans v. 7. SIR,Will you have the kindness to explain in the next number of your valuable magazine the difference between a righteous man and a good man, as implied in Romans v. 7. By so doing you will greatly oblige, Yours,
W. F. L. Though the terms employed are certainly different, we think the interpretation usually given to this passage, fanciful and unwarranted. To our mind the antithesis does not lie between the words translated “good” and “righteous,” (more literally, perhaps, just,) but between those severally rendered the good, or just; and the ungodly, or sinful, man. In ninety-nine instances out of a hundred, the passage is thus accented in the reading. “ Scarcely for a righteous man would one die, yet peradventure for a good man, some would even dare to die,” &c. This view of it supposes not only, as already stated, an opposition between the righteous and the good man ; but between the acts of dying, and daring to die. The most natural interpretation of the text, is as follows—“Scarcely for a righteous man will one die ; yet, peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die; but God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."